Through the Rainforest

Prescott and I took a long walk this morning, out our front door and under the busy road and into the Dairy Farm Nature Reserve.  I love that we can be out in the greenery in under ten minutes.

Walkabout

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The trails through the park feel more like ancient asphalt roads in most places than trails — they’re mostly pretty wide, sometimes have street lamps, and are well populated by both walkers and mountain bikers.  We saw lots of flowers:

And I’m realizing that I need to do some research on plants in Singapore, because I keep touching plants — and if anything is poisonous, I’m going to be in trouble.  But you’re always safe with ginger:

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If not with this scary-looking branch:

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I think Pres might have gotten tired of my taking so many pictures of plants, because he started taking some of his own:

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The trail eventually took us to the Wallace Education Center, where we learned both about the dairy farm that used to be up here (founded in 1929 with Friesian cattle) and about Alfred Russel Wallace, who studied bugs in Malaysia and Singapore and who apparently inspired Darwin.  In fact, if you were at the Wallace Center and read all of the information, you might reasonably believe that Wallace was much, much more important than Darwin himself.  It was all pretty interesting.

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They also have random angry-looking cow statues — moo!

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I would change only two things about our hike if I could.  First, I would re-open Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which is a huge park right next to where we were hiking that has been closed for restoration until next year.  Second, I would take away the loud highway noises in the background — no matter how far we walked, we never quite got away from the car sounds.  But it’s so nice to get away from all of the city views and smells and into the forest that I didn’t really mind.

Hiking here is amazingly exhausting — we never walked very fast, nor is the terrain very difficult, but we were completely wiped out at the end of the trip.  Still, we decided to continue to cross the street and explore the rail connector, an incomplete rail-to-trail project that’s right near our apartment.

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The trail parallels the big road and the “rail mall” near our MRT stop:

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We could also look back and see our condo building (it’s the tall one on the far right):

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All in all, it was a great morning, though we were grateful for showers and air conditioning and lunch at iO (the fancy Italian restaurant downstairs) by the time we returned home.

Now for two random asides. First, I’m really excited about all of the orchids here.  I’ve bought two for our apartment already:

And you can also find orchids planted outside all over the place:

I have not yet made it to the National Orchid Garden here, but I’m itching to go …

Secondly, I want to reassure my licorice-loving relatives that it’s ok to visit Singapore (and that I’ll be just fine here).  This is part of what lines the candy aisle in the upscale supermarket downstairs:

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Pretty exciting stuff!

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